Oversight panel probing voter hurdles in Georgia

Oversight panel probing voter hurdles in Georgia
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The House Oversight and Reform Committee opened an investigation Wednesday into voting hurdles during Georgia's 2018 gubernatorial election, which was marred by accusations of voter suppression.

Committee chairman Rep. Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsFormer GOP congressional candidate Kimberly Klacik suing Candace Owens for defamation Former Cummings staffer unveils congressional bid McCarthy, GOP face a delicate dance on Jan. 6 committee MORE (D-Md.) and chairman of the Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Rep. Jamie RaskinJamin (Jamie) Ben RaskinHillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — EU calls out Russian hacking efforts aimed at member states House lawmakers ask Cyber Ninjas CEO to testify on Arizona audit GOP seeks to keep spotlight on Afghanistan as Dems advance Biden's .5T spending plan MORE (D-Md.) sent letters to Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) requesting documents related to reports of people having their right to vote restricted.

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“The Committee on Oversight and Reform is investigating recent reports of serious problems with voter registration, voter access, and other matters affecting the ability of people in Georgia to exercise their right to vote,” the chairmen wrote. “The Committee is particularly concerned by reports that Georgians faced unprecedented challenges with registering to vote and significant barriers to casting their votes during the 2018 election.”

The letter cited several specific cases that concerned the committee, including a report from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that over 200 polling locations in the state have been closed since 2012.

The chair also cited a report from the paper about counties with significant minority populations experiencing long voter wait times despite their being spare machines that could be plugged in to accelerate the process.

The committee has requested the documents be provided by March 20.

Raffensperger told The Hill that his office received the letter.

“Our office looks forward to an open dialogue and a thorough process,” he added.

Kemp's office didn't immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.

GOP Rep. Doug CollinsDouglas (Doug) Allen CollinsLoeffler meets with McConnell amid speculation of another Senate run Georgia agriculture commissioner launches Senate campaign against Warnock Poll shows tight GOP primary for Georgia governor MORE, who hails from Georgia, criticized the move by Democrats on the Oversight panel, accusing them of trying to "relitigate November’s election in preparation for an upcoming election." He argued in a statement that the issue should be addressed "by state and local officials within our state."

"Democrats alleging voter suppression after an election results in an unfavorable outcome is becoming a growing trend. They questioned the outcome of the 2016 presidential election after their candidate lost, and now they’re still relitigating the 2018 gubernatorial race. It’s past time they accept the decisions of the American people and move on," he said.

Updated: 5:45 p.m.